As Mike Williams fielded questions after a mandatory minicamp practice Wednesday, a Bucs teammate walked by and shouted one request. "Pay the man," he said. In fact, it appears that Williams is closer to getting paid. Negotiations between the Bucs and Williams, which accelerated after free agency and the NFL draft, may produce an agreement within weeks if not days. "All I can say about that is that it's very close," Williams said Wednesday. Williams, selected in the fourth round in 2010, has averaged 64 catches in his first three seasons and had a career-best 996 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2013 season. GM Mark Dominik would like to get a deal completed before training camp. For the Bucs, the contract extension would be somewhat precedent-setting. While it would make good business sense to lock up Williams before he hits free agency, Dominik can expect a line outside his door when players such as LB Lavonte David and S Mark Barron out-perform their rookie contracts. Williams, 26, dropped to the fourth round amid reports that he quit his Syracuse football team with a few games remaining. While it turned out to be a misunderstanding between Williams and then-Syracuse coach Doug Marrone, the damage had been done. As a rookie, Williams had 964 yards receiving (14.8 average) and 11 touchdowns. But following the NFL lockout in 2010, he slumped to three touchdowns and 11.9 yards per catch.
Bucs near contract extension with Mike Williams
Tampa Bay Times | Jun 13